BU launches new research centre

The new international Centre for Wellbeing & Quality of Life, which will carry out vital research into improving health and wellbeing, has now been officially launched.

The cross-University Centre, based in the School of Health & Social Care, will examine and develop methods to promote healthy living, such as nutrition and exercise, but will concentrate on vulnerable groups, such as those with long-term conditions or chronic illness, to develop ways to self-manage conditions and improve their quality of life.

As outlined in the recent report ‘Mental Capital and Wellbeing’ sponsored by the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS), up to £77 billion a year is spent on mental-ill-health in England alone. A key direction for the Centre’s work will be to undertake research and develop educational opportunities and consultancy in promoting health and quality of life in the community.

Professor Steven Ersser, Director of the new Centre said: “Health and wellbeing has moved up the government’s agenda over the past few years, with an emphasis on prevention, rather than cure, to ensure the long-term viability of the NHS.

“Individual’s actions greatly affect their own health and it is recognised that further work is needed to ensure people develop happier and healthier lifestyles. Our work will see us develop programmes to address those gaps in current health and wellbeing research, and work with academics, students and other health organisations to develop ways to address those identified gaps.”

The Centre is already conducting research into psoriasis, a chronic skin conditions that affects seven per cent of the population, eczema and the management of back pain. It has recently formed a collaboration with the Royal Society for Public Health to promote education and development in this area.